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10 Bits: The Data News Hotlist

by Morgan Stevens
Stethoscope and an iPhone

This week’s list of top data news highlights covers January 21, 2023 to January 27, 2023 and includes articles on using an AI system to determine a painting’s artist and monitoring cardiac health with a wearable patch.

1. Building a Smart Walking Stick
Researchers at the University of Colorado, Boulder have created a smart walking stick that can help individuals with visual impairments navigate restaurants and grocery stores. The stick has a camera that collects data on the environment and an AI system that guides users around obstacles and to either seating or preferred groceries through vibrations or spoken directions.

2. Tracking Public Health
Researchers at the New York University Grossman School of Medicine and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, a U.S.-based nonprofit organization focused on healthcare and public health, have launched a dashboard displaying health data for every U.S. congressional district and the District of Columbia. For each district, viewers can access 36 determinants of public health, such as deaths from cardiovascular disease, access to nutritious foods, and housing affordability.

3. Monitoring Cardiac Health
Researchers at the University of California, San Diego, Softsonics, a U.S.-based medical technology company, and Sharp Memorial Hospital in San Diego, California have created a wearable patch that can collect real-time data on patients’ hearts. The patch uses a sensor to collect data on the heart’s output. An AI system then uses the data to gauge cardiac health.

4. Delivering Food
7-Eleven, a U.S.-based convenience store, has partnered with Serve Robotics, a U.S.-based robotics company, to test delivering snacks and drinks using sidewalk delivery robots. Customers in Los Angeles, California can use the robots, nicknamed Snack-E and Nomsky, to receive snacks and drinks from afar.

5. Writing Speeches
Rep. Jake Auchincloss (D-MA) has delivered a speech created by ChatGPT, a new language model, on the floor of the House of Representatives. Rep. Auchincloss delivered the speech in support of a bill that would create a U.S.-Israel AI center for research and development in the public, private, and education sectors. According to his staff, his speech is the first AI-created speech delivered in Congress.

6. Reducing Congestion
The Nottingham City Council has started installing AI-powered cameras to collect data on traffic pollution and congestion levels. Officials will use the data to improve traffic light management and inform transit and environmental policies.

7. Creating Content
BuzzFeed, a U.S.-based media publication, has announced that it will incorporate OpenAI’s AI tools into its offerings outside of its newsroom. The company will use the tools to enhance quizzes, brainstorm new ideas, and personalize content for viewers.

8. Buying a House
Zillow, a U.S.-based online real estate marketplace, has updated its search function to support natural language searches. Instead of entering a location and then using a variety of filters to sort through options, customers can now enter their housing preferences, such as the number of bedrooms or price, into the search bar and receive relevant results.

9. Crediting Artwork
Researchers at the University of Nottingham and the University of Bradford in the United Kingdom have identified Italian Renaissance artist Raphael as the likely artist behind the de Brécy Tondo, a painting with unknown origins. The team used a facial recognition system to detect similarities between the painting and other pieces of artwork, and found that the subjects of the de Brécy Tondo closely resembled the subjects of one of his other paintings, Sistine Madonna.

10. Generating Images
Shutterstock, a U.S.-based stock photography company, has launched an online design platform featuring OpenAI’s generative AI systems. Customers can submit text prompts to the platform and receive licensable images after.

Image credit: Flickr user Adoarble Dude

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